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Southern Georgia Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan Implementation

Date:
February 10, 2015
Topics:
2014, Bicycle& Pedestrian, Health, Older Adults

The Southern Georgia Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan was created to promote connectivity, economic development, and healthy mobility options for residents within the region. Since its adoption, the Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC) has made significant progress toward the plan’s vision through the use of creative strategies that are tailored to overcome the unique implementation challenges faced by its small, rural communities.

In support of implementation efforts, SGRC provides a number of resources to local leaders who are interested in making their community more walkable and bikeable. For example, SGRC recently developed a best practices guide for the implementation of complete street policies in cities and towns throughout the region. The guide reviews various complete street strategies and neighborhood types to create a matrix that allows local leaders to easily identify policies that are most suitable for their community. When requested, SGRC also provides direct technical assistance for specific projects. For example, the City of Tifton recently asked for assistance to develop a new greenway within the city. In response, SGRC drafted a report that outlines specific steps that should be taken to achieve their vision, including route suggestions, funding options, and community engagement strategies.

Lastly, SGRC has created a number of themed maps that provide alternative transportation information directly to residents throughout Southern Georgia. The Regional Bicycling Map identifies state and regional bicycling routes, local points of interest, and provides basic bicycling rules and safety tips. To date, nearly 11,000 of these maps have been distributed throughout the region. SGRC also released a Senior Resources Map to highlight resources and common destinations within the region’s four largest communities. Produced jointly by the Commission’s transportation planners and area agency on aging, the map’s primary purpose is to encourage senior citizens to take advantage of alternative forms of transportation when visiting nearby destinations such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and libraries.

As these examples highlight, education, partnerships, and assistance to local government is a cornerstone for SGRC’s implementation framework. In continuation of these efforts, SGRC is currently working on the creation of model ordinances and regulations for the installation of bicycle and pedestrian facilities, regional bicycle and agritourism informational pamphlets, and new partnerships with youth and civic organizations to educate local residents on opportunities for walking and biking in their communities.

Implementation of the Southern Georgia Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan was awarded a 2014 Excellence in Regional Transportation Award.  View descriptions of other award winning projects here.